‘Windrose’ from The Routes Quartet - different and exceptional in approach and scope(July 05, 2017)
Creating something new in terms of style, approach and instrumentation and integrating it to any genre could be considered something of a long shot. Taking the string quartet into the realms of folk music with its wide acceptance of innovation might be less of a gamble but it’s still a bold step. Then again, listen to the gorgeous mélange of music created by The Routes Quartet with their debut album ‘Windrose’ and it becomes the most sound and obvious decision to make ... not only because the blend works so well but mainly because The Routes Quartet do it supremely well. A talent for creative composition, saturated with traditional jigs, reels and marches, fused to a classic string quartet, allied to a wealth of tradition ... ‘Windrose’ is the result.
The quartet is Rufus Huggan (cello) Emma Tomlinson (viola) Gràinne Brady (fiddle) and Tricia Mullan (fiddle) ... together they explore the richness of the string quartet combined with cultural and musical influences from Scottish, Irish and English traditional music. The opening reel and jig combination of ‘Roisin and Paddy’ makes it obvious you’re listening to something both different and exceptional in approach and scope, from there the music saturates your senses ... the softly embracing ‘The Gentlemen’s Farewell’, the portentous ‘Trinkamp’, beguiling ‘The Quartz Jig’ and deeply meaningful ‘Retreat Marches’.
‘Windrose’ is an experience to savour, within its hold you’ll hear folk tunes presented as never before take time to imbue its depths ... rewards await.
Review: Tim Carroll